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Tech Productivity

Issue #47  (What Top Engineers Do) 01/06/20

A Hacker News reader asks: What do top engineers do that others don't?

I love the variety of answers in threads like this. One user discusses some really practical hands-on suggestions (like better Googling and having useful tools at their disposal) while another mentions something less tangible but maybe more important: humility. The user explains:

"I don't care how good you are, if your personality is hostile and toxic, you're not making the team productive. If you can't take honest feedback during peer review, or QA or even from the client, then you need to evaluate why."

Engineer at a white board
What are the habits of top engineers?
I think we can all agree that the workplace would be a much more productive, enjoyable, and less stressful environment if those in key technical positions manifested practical skills as well as the transferable ones.

Now on to this week's hand-picked productivity links!

Tools & Apps

Notably - Create and share markdown content, code snippets and any other text.

Vabotu - Team collaboration tool with online messaging, project management, collaboration, and online storage.

Quokka - Code editor extension that makes testing and prototyping JavaScript faster than ever. (VScode, Sublime, IntelliJ, Atom)

Waywo - Chrome or Firefox extension that asks you, in regular intervals, what you're working on, to help you stay on track.

Pomofocus - An online timer that incorporates the well-known Pomodoro technique (25-minute work intervals with short and long breaks).

Articles & Resources

I wasted $40k on a fantastic startup idea - This is kind of a sad but educational account of one entrepreneur's attempt to actually make something ostensibly beneficial for both medical professionals and their patients.

Key practices for achieving large professional goals - Practical and realistic suggestions from Stephen Kuenzli.

What Happens When Your Career Becomes Your Whole Identity - An important read if you feel like your work is consuming too much of your life.

It’s Never Going to Be Perfect, So Just Get It Done - Good advice for those who have trouble putting stuff out there because you feel something isn't quite "done" or "ready". I can definitely relate to this myself.

The Complete Guide to Effective Reading - A long read by Maarten van Doorn on arguably the more important part of learning: Transferring the newly acquired intelligence from your working memory to your long-term understanding.


Have a suggestion for a productivity-related tool, article, or other resource? Send me a direct message via X (@LouisLazaris) and I’ll consider including it in a future issue.

Stay productive!


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